Jocelyn Noe, who made our List of Igorot Achievers in Part 10, is a nurse and a poet who released a book of poems entitled Serendipity. This book was recently nominated by her publisher(Outskirts Press) to the EVVY Award given by the Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association “to recognize excellence in self-published and independently published books”. Results will be known on March 23, 2007. Congratulations Jocelyn! That’s quite an accomplishment. We hope you win.
As mentioned in our earlier post about Jocelyn, her poems have a “distinctly Igorot feel and color.” Here are two poems (which we copied from her blog and from her publisher’s website) to illustrate what we meant.
She came up the road to meet me.
She had the baby slung on her back
with a faded and stained sheet.
She smiled meaningfully and helped me
step down the stones so ruggedly placed
in a heap to form a wall, and we entered
their one-room cold and dusty home.
Then we walked like we used to as sisters
growing up, down the edges of a sloped
vegetable farm, to wash clothes and dishes
in a crude well, that’s also used for
irrigating the cabbage patches.
The following day I left penniless as
when I arrived, and the reason for my visit –
to borrow money from her, failed – she was
broke herself. But the moment is like a
scribble on a once wet concrete floor
now dried for others to see.
* * * * *
The leaves of trees are vanishing like deleted words
as the bus descends this mountain highway to the plains.
I ponder, and realize that my romance with this mountain city
is now ending, like sunshine at dusk.
The houses are now turning like tin cans, and
I’m wondering which one of them is yours.
Suddenly, I feel a pang: the world is closing in on me:
that what matters is for the moment to freeze,
and stop the trees and the houses from disappearing, and
thwart this bus from moving and taking me away.
The bus keeps moving anyway while my eyes are riveted backwards
I feel the angst, and the strong constraint I had for my feral self
Not to do something drastic, like jumping out the window
into the ravine below, deep and ravenous.
Soon I can no longer see those houses and trees.
They are blocked by distance and the flood of tears in my eyes
* This poem won first prize in the Poets of the Palm Beaches Monthly Contest (November 2005)
By the way, you can buy the book from Amazon. Those based in North America, Europe, or the high tech countries should buy the book 🙂 Sige na, let’s support our fellow Igorots. Eh kasi sa Pilipinas low tech kami so we don’t know how to buy from Amazon (Don’t tell us that we can buy with credit cards because we avoid credit cards like the plague that they are. He he). Of course we will buy a copy if the book is available in bookstores here, but unfortunately I don’t think it is.